Cindy, has written some beautiful words today, they are listed below. They come from a discussion with a lay leader about their church and issues that they are dealing with. Let the words soak in.
I think the church-centered christian life (as opposed to a Christ centered christian life) that american protestantism has created in the last few generations is what is killing the church in america. and the new generations see it for what it is - empty activity that does little besides sustain itself for more empty activity. Not that nothing good happens in local churches; far from it. But the abiding culture of complacency we've allowed to take over so overshadows the true mission of God's people that we risk losing it all.
We need corporate worship, we need corporate teaching, we need fellowship. But, we also need to get the heck out of the church building and live lives that show we care about somebody in addition to the people we worship with. We must address this corporate addiction to church that we ourselves have created. call it a church intervention, maybe. And if we succeed, the withdrawals will be ugly, angry, and very messy. If we don't succeed, thousands of local churches just like ours will be gone in 20 years or less. I'm not even sure if that isn't what should happen.
She absolutely hits this one out of the ballpark. We, too often, become church focused instead of Jesus focused. We fill up the calendars to keep people busy. We are hurting Christianity. We need to get back to the true mission that God has fiven us.
Cindy, thanks for the words. I greatly appreciate them and every once in awhile, i am needed to be reminded of the community (town) and get out there and make sure that are "folks" are out there as well and not "tied up" in empty projects that produce a church club mentality.